In a huge show of confidence for a new show, Syfy has just announced it is to renew The Expanse for a second season just four episodes into its initial run. Not only that, but the episode count is to be extended from 10 to 13. Critically acclaimed and already with a strong and vocal fan base, the second season of the ambitious series adapted from the James S.A. Corey series of novels is expected in early 2017.
There are currently five main books in The Expanse universe with four more currently planned, plus spin-offs and short stories. The series is reportedly Syfy’s most expensive to date and they are clearly extremely happy with how it has been received. Set two hundred years in the future when mankind has colonized the solar system, tensions between the populations of Mars, Earth and those that work in the asteroid belt are at breaking point. A mysterious conspiracy, perhaps the greatest in human history, is uncovered by hardened detective Miller (Thomas Jane), space freighter captain gone rogue Holden (Steven Strait) and sly and calculating Earth politician Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo).
For those who have read the books, The Expanse has proved to be intelligent and complex whilst also being an exciting, full throttle, world-building space opera of the kind that we don’t see that often. And what do you know? Not only are the critics falling over themselves to heap praise on it but the audience, somewhat starved of decent quality sci-fi that treats them with intellectual respect, are lapping it up in droves. Viewing figures are excellent for the channel; 4.5 million people watched the pilot online before it’s initial debut and the average episode figures are 1.6 million, numbers Syfy will be more than happy with. This all marks a return to the sort of output and quality we always wanted from Syfy but haven’t received in for some years. Their recent promise of smart and provocative programming now looks warranted.
With so much material already written and planned by authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck – James S.A. Corey is the pen name the pair use for their combined output – The Expanse looks like it has potential for a long and satisfying run.
It airs on Syfy, Tuesdays 10:00pm ET/PT with episode 5 due January 5th.